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Just Kids by [Patti Smith]
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Just Kids Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,522 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


” A story of art, identity, devotion, discovery, and love, the book is [Smith’s] first prose work...[it] conjures up the passionate collaboration--as lovers, friends, soul mates, and creators--that she and Mapplethorpe embarked on from the summer they met in Brooklyn in 1967.”

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In 1967, 21-year-old singer–song writer Smith, determined to make art her life and dissatisfied with the lack of opportunities in Philadelphia to live this life, left her family behind for a new life in Brooklyn. When she discovered that the friends with whom she was to have lived had moved, she soon found herself homeless, jobless, and hungry. Through a series of events, she met a young man named Robert Mapplethorpe who changed her life—and in her typically lyrical and poignant manner Smith describes the start of a romance and lifelong friendship with this man: It was the summer Coltrane died. Flower children raised their arms... and Jimi Hendrix set his guitar in flames in Monterey. It was the summer of Elvira Madigan, and the summer of love.... This beautifully crafted love letter to her friend (who died in 1989) functions as a memento mori of a relationship fueled by a passion for art and writing. Smith transports readers to what seemed like halcyon days for art and artists in New York as she shares tales of the denizens of Max's Kansas City, the Hotel Chelsea, Scribner's, Brentano's, and Strand bookstores. In the lobby of the Chelsea, where she and Mapplethorpe lived for many years, she got to know William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Johnny Winter. Most affecting in this tender and tough memoir, however, is her deep love for Mapplethorpe and her abiding belief in his genius. Smith's elegant eulogy helps to explain the chaos and the creativity so embedded in that earlier time and in Mapplethorpe's life and work. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003F1WM2K
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins e-books; 1st edition (April 2, 2010)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ April 2, 2010
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1649 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 318 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 3,522 ratings

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Patti Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. She has released twelve albums, including Horses, which has been hailed as one of the top one hundred debut albums of all time by Rolling Stone.

Smith had her first exhibit of drawings at the Gotham Book Mart in 1973 and has been represented by the Robert Miller Gallery since 1978. Her books include Just Kids, winner of the National Book Award in 2010, Wītt, Babel, Woolgathering, The Coral Sea, and Auguries of Innocence.

In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor given to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 1980, she married the musician Fred Sonic Smith in Detroit. They had a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Jesse. Smith resides in New York City.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
3,522 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Dorian Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Hansel + Gretel : witches + demons
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hansel + Gretel : witches + demons
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2018
Patti Smith forged a formidable reputation from her performance on stage + in front of the camera whenever she gave interviews. But behind the Rebel Yell lay a person of incredible warmth , good humour + generosity of spirit.

As she " grows up " in the " counter-culture " we hear all about her adventures , encounters + formative influences. Rock fans will love her memories of chatting with Jimi Hendrix just days before his death or the night she spent consoling Janis Joplin when yet another man let her down. If you adore the beatnick writers then you'll be intrigued to learn one of them once mistook her for a " pretty " boy + tried to pick her up !

But if Just Kids has anything to teach us it is surely that Love comes in many different forms. And at that time the Love of her young Life was Robert Mapplethorpe. Only later did she discover he was homosexual + quite willing to sell his body to men for sex. But he then developed an interest in Bondage + Sadomasochism which he maintained was entirely artistic but poor Patti had her doubts. Yet the bond ( ! ) between them remained as strong as ever. Their Love had undergone a strange alchemical change : now they were like brother + sister . Even when Robert was dying from AIDS an older , more mature + now married Patti was still by his side. She'd had her first child with Fred Sonic Smith + her second was on its within her as Robert lay dying...

As Patti so beautifully puts it " We were as Hansel + Gretel + we ventured out into the black forest of the world. There were temptations + witches + demons we never dreamed of + there was splendour we only partially imagined. No one could speak for these 2 young people nor tell any truths of their days + nights together. Only Robert + I could tell it. And , having gone , he left the task to me..."
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6 people found this helpful
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Four Violets
5.0 out of 5 stars Living in a way no one would now?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2016
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14 people found this helpful
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Kris Dudley
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, beautiful - I would recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2019
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4 people found this helpful
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Tim C
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall, just okay
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2021
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Julie W
5.0 out of 5 stars ... a pocket book stream of consciouness travelogue...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 28, 2016
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One person found this helpful
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